Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) - It's officially time to refer to Eduardo Rodgriguez as "The Magic Man"! His top act? Making his ERA disappear! Rodriguez notched his 7th quality start of the season on Friday and improved his ERA (and widened his gap vs xFIP) to 2.77. On Friday he went 6 innings, allowed 5 hits, no runs on 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. His 4.03 xFIP says regression should be coming, but I'm having trouble buying that narrative, in this case. His hard hit rate allowed is well below league average at 26%, indicating his below average 8.2% HR/FB rate might actually be real. If that's the case, he's actually a BUY candidate, not a SELL candidate. I love his 72% contact rate and his 27% strikeout rate is actually supported by his 2% jump in swinging strike rate this season. The improvement he has made to his secondary pitches is clearly working and that, my friends, is the real reason why he's "The Magic Man"!
Chris Archer (TB) - Chris Archer tossed a gem on Friday night, pitching into the 8th inning while allowing just 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 1 walk. Archer has now struck out at least 11 batters in 4 of his last 5 starts. On the season, he continues to improve his now 3.61 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Control remains an issue for him from time-to-time, but with an xFIP of 3.33, a swinging strike rate that has stabilized around 12% each of the last 3 years and a strand rate at 72.5%, which is just about his career norm, what we're seeing is finally the real Chris Archer. He'll rack up a bunch of strikeouts, he'll neither help you nor hurt you in the ratios and he won't be much of a factor in the wins category (thanks to the Rays offense).
Joe Musgrove (HOU) - Joe Musgrove blanked the Orioles over 7 innings while allowing just 4 hits and striking out 6. On the season, Musgrove now sports a 4.89 ERA and 1.43 ERA with a 43:17 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 53.1 innings pitched. Those are pretty pedestrian numbers from a player who was drafted in the later rounds in many leagues this spring. Musgrove isn't doing anything poorly, in fact, most of his peripherals are all around league average. His contact rate (79.4%), swinging strike rate (10.1%), and hard hit rate (30.2%) are all with a percentage or two of the league mean, which basically just rolls up into a mediocre fantasy option. He's a fine streaming option, but he's not worth rostering every day.
Rickie Weeks (TB) - All of Tampa Bay's right-handed bats are in play for DFS on Saturday, but Rickie Weeks leads the way as the best value on FanDuel against left-hander Adalberto Mejia. Weeks is hitting just .214 on the season, but he has historically been a very good hitter against left-handed pitching and more importantly, Mejia has allowed a .398 wOBA to right-handers this year. He should get a lineup spot near the middle of the order on Saturday considering his platoon edge. He's a great way to save salary cap space to pay up for Stephen Strasburg or Zack Greinke.
George Springer (HOU) - Wade Miley is a pitcher we're planning to exploit on Saturday and Springer is an affordable way to get top-of-the-order exposure at just $3,300. Miley continues to struggle against right-handers hitters, particularly in terms of power. Springer notched two hits on Friday night, a sign he could be busting out of his slump, and the Astros have an implied run total approaching 5 for Saturday. He's a better GPP play than cash game, but his low price allows you to spend up elsewhere either on a larger Astros stack or at starting pitching.
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